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Letdown problem after 6 mths BF

(12 Posts)
OnlyNiceSwearing Fri 21-Sep-12 21:40:26

This happened tonight, dd ready for usual feed before bed at 6.30 and my milk would not put in an appearance. Dd became more and more frantic, I tried to relax obviously but still nothing. Ended up using my breast pump which eventually got the milk flowing. Has anyone else had this happen before?

Dd has just started going 3.5/4 hrs between feeds and sleeping all evening with one or two brief wakings until 6/ 7am, would the longer intervals between feeds affect flow? I was a tiny bit worried I wouldn't be able to feed her tonight as it took ages to get the milk to start. She can't have formula as is intolerant and her special milk which was prescribed she won't touch with a barge pole!

She also yanks on my right hand side every feed and has done for a long time now, as though not enough milk for her. It's actually making me sore but cannot get her to stop it. I saw a thread about this being a phase but it has been a very long phase for her and is becoming agonising for me! Any thoughts very welcome! grin

GEM33 Sat 22-Sep-12 21:53:39

any ideas anyone??

showtunesgirl Sat 22-Sep-12 22:20:38

What makes you think that the milk wasn't flowing? If you're solely gauging this by feeling the letdown reflex, it's not an accurate way of seeing if the milk is flowing or not.

OnlyNiceSwearing Sat 22-Sep-12 23:49:19

Thanks Gemsmile showtunes- I have always felt the letdown reflex when feeding, but the behaviour of dd was frantic because she wasn't able to get any milk. This was more my indication that the milk was not flowing. It has happened twice more today sad very stressful for both of us, especially as we haven't had too many problems bfing as yet.

Seenenoughtoknow Sun 23-Sep-12 00:14:33

Letdown delay can be related to Mother's stress - so if you're a little anxious it will take a little longer, but it will come. It isn't a problem to use a breast pump to bring on the letdown, and then baby won't get frustrated. Or try massaging and rolling the nipple if you don't want to go through the hassle with the pump...just small movements similar to what baby would do on the breast to encourage the letdown.

If baby is contented after the first breast, always offer the other breast anyway, because the more you feed, the more milk you will produce for the next feed. My baby is 12 months now, and his feeds aren't as regular as they were but there is always enough milk - even if they don't feel very full.

It could be that baby is having a growth spurt - but this should only last a few days. If you want to increase your milk supply, feed baby occasionally even when she isn't hungry (they rarely refuse a feed as they love the comfort!) to increase your supply. Best of luck with it - keep persevering - I find it's so much easier than bottle feeding, and I so love looking at DS' little wide eyes looking up at me during feeds...there is no way of being closer to your little DD!

OnlyNiceSwearing Mon 24-Sep-12 11:25:09

Thank you for replying, still having the problem. I have made a conscious effort to really relax before a feed which has helped a little. Dd keeps screaming at my right boob sad and I can eventually get her to feed from left but she doesn't seem to be getting enough as is a bit fractious after, which is unusual for her.

On Saturday she fed at 12.30 and wouldn't take anything until 6pm. I have never breastfed for this long before so haven't the foggiest whether or not this is normal. I tried offering more feeds as suggested but she is not interested. We were going so well with bfing up until now! She was taking both sides and seeming very satisfied. She doesn't seem unwell or anything.

Dd is just 6 months so started weaning today, not doing the whole purée thing as started later. She had a bit of toast with banana and loved it. I am bfing first obviously. Dd is a chunky little thing so no danger of waiting away but I would like to understand what's wrong. Do ebf babies drop feeds? I know when I ff dd2 this happened as we moved onto solids but not really established them with dd1 yet.

OnlyNiceSwearing Mon 24-Sep-12 11:27:29

Dd3 I meant!

Seenenoughtoknow Mon 24-Sep-12 16:22:40

I have a breastfeeding club meeting tomorrow at 2pm, so if you persevere I'll put the question to a friend who is very knowledgable on the subject. My ds stopped wanting as much milk when I started weaning him, but like you I breast fed him first before food, and then tried after to make sure he was hydrated.

If ever I feel my supply isn't quite as good as it could be, I up my fluid intake and it seems to boost it a little...more water, tea, juice...try that too, and I'll check my bf file (did a peer supporter course a while back) to see what else could be happening. Will be back in a bit.

OnlyNiceSwearing Mon 24-Sep-12 16:27:00

Thanks so much, really appreciated. I haven't any friends who are bfing, feel a bit lost!

RightUpMyRue Mon 24-Sep-12 16:29:42

It could be the start of a nursing strike which will pass. Distressing for you but hopefully will be short lived.

Have you taken any medication recently?

Seenenoughtoknow Mon 24-Sep-12 17:12:31

RightUpMyRue could be onto something there, as medication can affect your supply.

Also, do you use a dummy with dd? Or nipple shields? I ask because they can cause nipple confusion, but I won't go into detail unless that turns out to be the problem.

Another thing to try, is when she starts getting frustrated on the breast, compress the breast, (cup it in your hand and squeeze gently) whilst she is feeding (usually near the end of the feed) to increase the last of the milk and fat transfer to your baby a little quicker than she could suck it out by herself. She should start to take bigger gulps again, and it will help the breast to drain properly from all areas to increase your supply for the next feed/drink.

Sometimes babies will refuse one breast, and develop a favourite, usually because the supply in one is better or one is easier to feed from than another. The trick then is to keep the supply going well or even improve it in the lesser loved breast until baby can be persuaded to use it again. If you can, try to feed in a different position to encourage the use of the breast dd is shouting at or refusing. I don't know if you feed lying down on your side on a bed, but it is a very comfortable way to relax and feed, and sometimes a change of position is all that is needed to get baby back on the less loved breast.
If she still refuses, I would use a pump to express the milk from that breast (to freeze for use in food etc) once or twice, so that the breast keeps producing until you can get her back feeding from it. The more you express, the more will be produced for the next feed.

I hope this helps for now - will speak to my friend tomorrow.

Seenenoughtoknow Tue 25-Sep-12 20:37:02

Hi again, my friend said to ask;
Is baby having trouble on both sides?
Is baby pulling away a lot during feeds?
Does baby have a nappy rash?
Does she cry and get frustrated during feeds?
Does she have soreness around her mouth?
Does the inside of her mouth have any whiteness / spots?
Are your nipples sore or uncomfortable during feeds?

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